Past the Polyester: Final Cuts

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Coco Chanel

Our outfits often mirror or juxtapose our personality, our interests, where we’re going and who will be there: A lazy day off, a business meeting, a cocktail party or lunch with friends. We represent the trends of modern day or completely ignore them. Popularized by photographers Bill Cunningham with On the Street for the New York Times and Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist, we’ve fallen in love with viewing others’ styles on the street. How did they style the latest pieces from J. Crew, and did anyone really buy that heinous yellow cardigan? Can black and brown look good together? Can I really pull off this fur coat? Breaking trends or making trends, we borrow ideas from those around us and in doing so form our own identity.

In the latest issue of “the Yard,” Charleston students’ street styles were featured in my piece, “Past the Polyester.” I’ve included those same students and three additional as I, unfortunately, had too little space in the publication to encompass all of the fabulous candidates. Instead, the three who didn’t make the final cut (not because they weren’t good enough, more a matter of layout design), will be featured here on the website along with the others to be the initial online post of the new Street Style blog.

Marcus Dowling outside Redeux. Photo by Jess Spence.

Marcus Dowling outside Redeux. Photo by Jess Spence.

Marcus Dowling

Junior//Psychology Major, Sociology Minor

Fort Mill, SC // Peer Academic Counselor

Shy yet bold, reserved yet outgoing, responsible but a little forgetful, Marcus plays a balancing act of extremes and plays it well. Collaborating the streets of his Boston hometown and the charm of South Carolina, the ease of the West Coast and poise of the East, camouflage pants with black and white stripes. While he’s unsure of where he may end up a few months from now, he’ll nonetheless always be a standout in the crowd. Music? Kanye West. Coffee? Black. Wardrobe Staple? Denim. White Denim.


Shannon Vogt. Photo by Jess Spence.

Shannon Vogt. Photo by Jess Spence.

Shannon Vogt

 Junior // Psychology Major, (Possible) Neuroscience Minor

 Chesapeake Bay // Singer & Songwriter

            “A miracle can be defined as a shift in perception,” quoted Shannon. A phrase she’d originally heard from her yoga instructor at Jivamukti that has resonated with her ever since. Unafraid of challenges and fighting for what she believes in, the petite musician has already recorded an EP titled “Seaglass” and has released two singles off her next album, ‘Wolves,’ with Ocean Industries. Inspired by Stevie Nicks and Amy Winehouse, whenever she isn’t waiting tables, camping or playing local gigs then her house is full of friends, private concerts and Rice Krispy treats. Dream Town? London. Wardrobe staple? High-waisted denim shorts. Best friends? Her two cats, Sebastian and Kobe Bryant.

Zack Waldman on Glebe Street. Photo by Jess Spence.

Zack Waldman on Glebe Street. Photo by Jess Spence.

Zack Waldman

Junior // Pre-Med: Bio Major, Psychology Minor 

Philadelphia, PA // President of Beta Theta Pi

When Zack isn’t singing with his fraternity brothers, studying for the MCAT, spoiling his girlfriend at High Cotton or leading the Honors “Beyond George Street” courses, he’s cruising his Suzuki 250 along the Battery or grabbing a beer at Octobachi. Music? Classic Rock. Brand? Brooks Brothers. Downfall? “An abysmal sense of direction.”

Margaux Williams. Photo by Jess Spence.

Margaux Williams. Photo by Jess Spence.

Margaux Williams

Freshman // Studio Art Major, Biology Minor

Baltimore, Maryland // A Pre-Med Artist

A creative visionary describes how Margaux sees the world, shown in how she finds pieces from Goodwill and sews, pins and hems them to fit or when she pulls out a blank canvas and lets her imagination take form in oil paints. Listening to everything from Justin Bieber to The Strokes, she’s the outgoing one who initially interrupted Bailey reading in Marion Square. She’d live out west in Arizona if she had the choice and is embarking on a road trip this summer, which has its final destination in the unexpected state of Wyoming. Tea? Chai. One Food, Forever? Cheese. Best thrifted item? Grandmother’s dress worn at President Nixon’s Inaugural Ball, adorned with vintage coins.

Bailey Pryor, a park off Broad Street. Photo by Jess Spence.

Bailey Pryor, a park off Broad Street. Photo by Jess Spence.

Bailey Pryor

Freshman // Marketing Major, German and Photography Minor

Mississippi // Future National Geographic Editor

Wandering through the Halsey, the streets of Charleston or in her own mind, Bailey goes where the wind takes her and refrains from planning, just taking whatever life may throw her way. Skilled in improvisation and running late, her inventive nature has led to wearing scarves as skirts when her laundry has yet to be done (as worn in the photo).  Spending her afternoons with Margaux with tea and toast, she prefers mint green, and losing herself in a Vonnegut book or among the streets south of Broad with a pack of American Spirits in her pocket. Dream home? Switzerland. Best local café? Gaulart & Maliclet, Fast & French Inc. A quote to live by? “So it goes,” courtesy of Kurt Vonnegut.

Matthew Piazza at Xao Bao Biscuit. Photo by Jess Spence

Matthew Piazza at Xao Bao Biscuit. Photo by Jess Spence

Matthew Piazza

Sophomore// Computer Science Major, Creative Writing Minor

Massachusetts // Secret Food Blogger

Plugging numbers into MUSC’s data system is dull, to most of us at least. It seems entirely unfitting for eccentric Matthew Piazza, but that is how he spends most of his afternoons. A tech savvy foodie and film buff, if Matt isn’t spending his free time catching up on Mad Men with his roommate SKYLAR*, one could find him at Butcher & Bee or scrolling through the Fuzzco graphic design website. Favorite Book? The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Favorite Series? “Parks and Recreation.” Best Kept Secret? His Birthday.

*As requested, all caps and misspelled.

Roberto Jones outside his home on Calhoun. Photo by Jess Spence

Roberto Jones outside his home. Photo by Jess Spence.



Roberto Jones

Sophomore// International Studies, Political Science & Art History Major

Mexico City // Sculpture Artist

“Suka, Pazhalusta.” Or for those of us who aren’t fluent in Russian (Spanish and English, too), “Bitch, Please.” Raised in Mexico City, boarding school in Canada, two months abroad in Russia and living in Charleston, Roberto is the essence of a multicultural lifestyle. Vintage is preferred, possessing his grandfather’s coat from the 50s, his father’s Cartier red leather briefcase and glasses from the 80s. Always offered free stuff and approaching strangers are his “superpowers,” and his house is always full of friends. Strangest Food? Ostrich in NYC. Style Advice? “Never lose the class.” Best Prank? Three pounds of bananas on Matthew Piazza’s bed, Happy Birthday.


Liz Platanis at City Lights Coffee. Photo by Jess Spence.

Liz Platanis at City Lights Coffee. Photo by Jess Spence.

Elisabeth ‘Liz’ Platanis

Freshman // Art, Anthropology and Archaeology Major

U.S.A. & Greece // A Female Indiana Jones

Daughter of a Greek Orthodox priest, Liz has lived in over five states and only needs to check off five more from the list traveled; although if given the choice she’d reside in Arizona for the rest of her life with “rocks so red and sky so blue, you’d think you’re in a painting.” Styled like a hobo and a fortuneteller, she’s one of five children in a typically large Greek family but plays the edge between conservative and rebellion in regards to their traditions.  Fostering a love for Lord of the Rings, Dave Matthews, and her beta fish Nacho, who swims in a bowl filled with sea glass from her trips to Greece, Liz is as opinionated and diverse as the places she’s lived (which includes a log cabin in Knoxville). Tattoo? A sun on her mid-back. Mistaken for? Lorde and her attractive mother. Taken? By Mirza, an equally artistic Bosnian she met in Columbia (even if her father’s side doesn’t approve).



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Freshman at the College of Charleston, studying Arts Management and International Business. In the past nineteen years, I've fallen in love with live music and yoga, art and rainy days, tattoos, hot coffee, surfing, running, reading and writing.

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